2012 winner Scott Gura pictured with Sam Burrell
The coach of the year award is given annually at the "There's No I In Team" banquet in June. The recipient is an area high school coach as voted on by his peers in the Southern Connecticut Region. The award honors coaches whose team shows sportsmanship and a positive attitude.
The 2022 recipient is Nick Cerreta of Xavier High School.
The award is named in honor of legendary coach Samuel A. Burrell, Jr.
Sam taught in the New Haven school system and worked in the central office of the physical education department. He coached baseball at Wilbur Cross High School and later was the head baseball coach at Hillhouse High School. He also coached American Legion Post 47 baseball from 1956 to 1967 and won several zone championships.
In 1968 he was appointed head freshman baseball coach at Yale University, where he coached for many years, and is believed to be the first black intercollegiate coach at Yale. He later became an assistant freshman football coach at Yale from 1979 to 1992. In 1993 he was appointed to the Yale varsity football staff where he served until 1996. He was a founder of the SCDC and was the community outreach coordinator for the Yale Athletic Department.
****We are saddened by the loss of one of our founding fathers, Sam Burrell. Sam was instrumental in both the original Diamond Club in the early 1980's, as well as working with the group who re-established the group in 2005. A first-class gentleman who would do just about anything for the youth of our community, Sam's loss will be felt deeply. Thank you, Sam, for all that you've done. We hope the Diamond Club will continue on the mission - to foster and promote the game of baseball - that you helped to establish.***
2007 - Pete Civitello, Guilford H.S.
2008 -Ed Marocco, Shelton H.S.
2009 - Mike Anquillare, West Haven H.S.
2010 - Steven DeCrosta, Hyde Leadership School
2011 - Billy Mitchell
North Branford High School
2012 - Scott Gura, Shelton High School
2013 - Rich Magner, Xavier High School
2014 - Greg Simler, Johnathan Law
2015 - Chris Borelli, Hamden High School
2016- Jeff Farrell
Wilbur Cross High
2017 - Brian Hayden
Guilford High School
2018 - Travis LaPointe
Daniel Hand High School
2019 - Mike Lussier - Cheshire High School
2021 - Ron Luneau (West Haven) & Chris Borelli (Hamden)